Grass growth has continued to lag behind the growth rates that would be expected for this time of year.

Many farms are now in position that they have found themselves in a number of times in recent years, whereby grass growth has stalled due to soil moisture deficits.

A large part of the country is now looking for rain to boost growth rates; although the good weather is welcomed, some farms are now feeling the pinch.

In many cases, growth rates are now behind demand and supplementary feeding is now needed to maintain rotation length.

There is some rain forecast for the weekend, but it’s is unclear how much of that we will actually get and thus the impact it will have on soil moisture deficits.

The rainfall warning is affecting western and southern counties, but many along the east coast and midlands will also be hoping to get some of that water.

Grass growth

Current growth rates, based on figures from PastureBase Ireland, are 53kg dry matter (DM)/ha in Leinster; 52kg DM/ha in Munster; 57kg DM/ha in Connacht; and 65kg DM/ha in Ulster.

There is a slight improvement in growth rates expected over the coming days, but it is likely not going to get farmers into a position of having a surplus.

The predicated growth rates, based on PastureBase Ireland, are 61kg DM/ha in Leinster; 58kg DM/ha in Munster; 60kg DM/ha in Connacht; and 67kg DM/ha in Ulster.

Embryo loss

The end of June is near, and the majority of cows are now hopefully in-calf.

But, stressed placed on them by a reduced amount of feed being available can result in embryo loss.

Because of this it is important that cows are supplemented when required, in order to maintain intakes and avoid embryo loss in your herd.

A cow suffering a embryo loss at this stage of the season will likely result in her not remaining in the herd.

So, ensuring that cows are continued to be well fed during a period of reduced growth is important – not only for production, but for cow fertility.